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April Fool's Eve Miracle

In my last post, I mentioned I would be boycotting the Final Four this year, and that I would only unboycott the NCAA tournament if it meant rooting AGAINST UCLA. In my haste and hatred, I did not consider the consequences of such an action. A wise lesson I suppose. Rooting against UCLA in their next game would involve me rooting FOR the Florida Gators. And well, *insert hearty chuckle* that's just not gonna happen.

So there's only one real solution to my problem.

Pray for an April Fool's Eve Miracle.

And "What is that?" you ask.

Praying that they BOTH LOSE the game tonight.


Jayhawk Schmayhawk

Don't talk to me. I'm depressed. And yes, I know the gravity of that statement. Not disphoric. Depressed. I'm not eating. Then I'm over-eating. I'm sleeping like crazy. Crying like crazy. Cursing in my mind like crazy.

I hate college basketball.

Kansas thought it would be a great idea to shred my heart again this year. Brilliant season ending with another exit from the tournament. And no ring to show for it.

I'd almost rather lose in the first round for the third year in a row. Almost.

What a PITIFUL game. They played awful. Deserved to lose. And they deserve to lose my support.

But they won't.

But that's because I'm great, not them.

Why do I pick losers? Kansas. The Orlando Magic. The Kansas City Chiefs. Republicans. Rocky.

I'm boycotting the Final Four this year. Unless UCLA's in it.

Then I'll root against them. Like I'll be doing for THE REST OF MY LIFE.


Little Hair Shop of Horrors

I got my hair cut yesterday. It's always an interesting progression for me to get there though. My hair gets long and I start to like it long, and then I don't know if my neck gets tired of holding it all up or what, but the desire to shave it becomes intense. My better angel always convinces me not to, so I compromise with a simple haircut. Maybe I wait so long for a cut because I'm more financially sound than when I try to keep it continuously short. Or maybe it's because the haircut itself can be traumatic...

Like the time I had the Female Drill Sergeant. Her veins bulging from her biceps with every slice of my head with the clippers. The testosterone oozing off of her breath every time she shoved my head the direction it needed to be for her to slice my head with the clippers. The cancerous voice deeper than James Earl Jones. And all the emotions and tact of a sailor. Or Grizzly Bear. She asked my plans for the night. I said maybe that 9/11 movie, but maybe not because who's gonna feel good after that? Your night's shot because you're so depressed. She barks back my marching orders. "[expletive] that. That's history. That [expletive] happened. It sounds to me like YOU just don't wanna to see it. You need to be your own man, grow a pair and man up. Tell them you don't wanna see it. Or that what you really wanna do is get wasted and go out on the town." No. That's what you want to do. And I'm convinced you've already grown yours.

After rinsing out my ears and her mouth with soap, I mumbled, "Yeah. I guess you're right." Knowing full well she was. Lest she BREAKS ME IN HALF. Yes, Drill Ser-geant! Whatever you say, Drill Ser-geant!

I dont think she was ever a man though. In a past life? Now, maybe.

How about The Hair Shop of Clinton. All cuts: $5. At least when I was in school. With inflation, it might be like $5.25 now.

This place, this vortex in time, this hole in civilization, could easily be its own sitcom. I'm not lying. I won't do it justice here, and I try to do things justice here.

One time I had the man there. Strong, redneck, country man. Cutting hair. With a comb and scissors too small for his fingers. Quite dainty, actually. But it just didn't match. Piercing southern drawl, a rigid bellowing conversationalist. And a hair stylist. With his dainty scissoring technique down pat. He'd speak of 40 acre lots and smoking, chewing tobacco, guns, hunting and maybe even gathering. But he was gentle with the touch. It's as if the coarse exterior was the proof he had sublimated his inner metrosexuality. A Closet Redneck Metrosexual.

Or maybe he was just as good at oragami.

I had the woman once. Well there were two women and the Closet Redneck Metrosexual. The woman I ALWAYS got (and by ALWAYS I mean the two other times I went), was as big as the Closet Redneck Metrosexual and the other woman put together. She could've had them for mid-morning snack. Very big-boned woman. Very obese. Very hungry. One time I came in and she was eating in the corner. I stood and waited UNTIL SHE FINISHED before I was even greeted. Head down. Eyes focused. The hunger pangs were in control.

She was a treat of a woman though, and that's not a fat joke. It's a personality crack. She spoke very little, which suits me perfectly, actually. I mean, all the talking. Come on. It feels good to get your hair cut--unless it's by Closet Redneck Metrosexual Man--and all this jabber, this chatter, this interaction just ruins the moment. Just let me sit there and veg out. Zone out. Close my eyes and trust you not to jab me in the neck or snip my ears off. Nervous small talk for a tip makes me want to tip less. That's right. I will pay you to NOT TALK TO ME. I'm not a fan of hair stylist gossip, especially in the heart of Mississippi. I don't care about your kids. And you don't need to know where I work. I do my job just fine. Now do yours.

Anyway, so she has no personality, which suits my fancy. Except I don't want rude. Quiet is great. Gentle is nice. Rude sucks. Don't spin me without warning. Don't knock my head over when my eyes are closed. Don't RUB YOUR BELLY on me while I'm sleeping! It's really not a lot to ask. Honest. If you're morbidly obese, maybe cutting hair isn't a realistic option for you. Maybe it's time for a change of profession. If you can't reach my hair without lapping your gut into MY lap, then that's a sign of two things to me and hopefully you.
A. Immediately quit your job.
B. Immediately quit EATING! Take a WALK! Try and float a lap. Do jumping jacks! No. Scratch that. Don't do jumping jacks.

She was so large. She really spun me with her belly. And I'm not lying. I don't like to lie. Sometimes. But I'm not lying. She'd cut my hair on the right side, and then she'd do this Jabba the Hut move and all of a sudden I'm spinning around to the left. It was nauseating on several fronts. That I was a being spun around, one. That I felt like Princess Leia, two. That the entity forcing such violent centripital motion was years worth of meals stored away for a hibernation yet to be decided upon. Three.

And she had no personality. No apology for her technique. And certainly no warning. She was perpetually grumpy. And rude.

Maybe she was hungry.

I can't complain too much. I did go there three times. But I was a college student. A poor college student. It was pay $5 at the Hair Shop of Clinton or walk around with a mullet. And if you weren't careful going in, coming out you might just have one anyway. It's almost enough to make you want to be a Democrat, and that's a strong statement coming from me. Some kind of entitlement for haircuts, some stipend, some grant for college students. I don't care how we solve this problem. I'll be bi-partisan about it. A tax write-off for haircuts, if we're being Republican about it. Let's solve this National Dilemna before it eats at the fabric of our society.

Before SHE eats the fabric of our society.


Mere Reincarnation

I mean no ill-will by this post. I just don't get reincarnation. I'm sure people don't get me believing in the Hope I have in Christ, either. But reincarnation REALLY doesn't make alot of sense to me.

So you die. And live again. As something else. What or who decides what that will be? Karma? So if I live well, I get to be a Platypus or something equally fun? Live poorly and I'm a Dung Beetle or TsiTsi Fly? What's the moral compass that determines living well and poorly? Sure, Ghandi is probably whatever he wants to be according to this faith, and Hitler is probably a Herpe, but away from the extremes and into the gray areas of morality, how high is the bar of ethics? And who determines what's right and wrong? What those ethics actually are? With no absolute moral values, is it up to the individual to decide? And if so, wouldn't that make Hitler ok if HE thought so? If HE thought for whatever twisted reason that what HE was doing was for the greater good, then HE would have high morals still. Right? It's all relative?

I don't get it. Is it qualitative or quantitative? Is it more important to do a few really important and great things, or lots of little semi-good things? And again, aside from the extremes, what really is great vs semi-good? We know murder is probably not great, and finding a cure for cancer is pretty nice. But lying? Some don't think it's wrong. Some do. The same with gossip or cheating or cursing. Who decides? I'd say it's the difference between becoming a Mosquito and an Elk. You better know what you're doing.

What happens when the Earth is no longer suitable for life? What do we come back as then? Nothing? Where do we GO then? Is that when we finally die? I can see the incentive for protecting the planet. Do we come back as Rocks? Do we start over? Re-evolve into new creatures that we can take turns being? And if you evolve into a cool animal, does that mean you lived well previously? And if you can come back as a new species or newly evolved animal, why not come back as one that isn't around anymore? I mean, if you're in control, why not come back as a Velociraptor? And if it's how you live that determines what you come back as, then what does that mean about extinction? That people quit doing whatever it was that made them become Pterydactyls? If they figured that out, why don't they figure out how to quit becoming Anthrax and Spiders and Herpes.

What about life on Mars? Reincarnation can't be limited to Earth. If you believe it existed at one point on Mars, where is it now? Are they all grains of red sand forever blown by the winds of lonliness? Will they only re-evolve into new life on Mars if they live well as a grain of sand? Maybe it gives us a clue to the death of the planet. Everyone's resigned to this fate as a molecule of lonely red dirt because they all lived so poorly. Their pennance is to forever look alike and not move unless rolled over by NASA's Mars Rovers. Or maybe we are what Mars was. Maybe we were the life on Mars in our former lives.

Or at least Tom Cruise was.

Or maybe it's all chance. You die and are buried. You come back as dust and maggots? Gross. Sorry. Can you only become where you last were? Die in a field, become a red fern? Dying in Antarctica would really limit your chances of up-selling beyond a frozen Guppy. I'm moving somewhere exotic and diverse. There's a few more options in the after-life around Hawaii or the Galapagos than say the Yukon. Or Siberia.

It seems like it requires a lot of faith to believe in reincarnation. You get something wrong about your faith--flip off one too many people, eat one too many desserts, cuss one too many times--without a guideline, you're hovering around cow manure for the four-day life span of a fly. But then what? Sure we get from here to there. We murder someone and we're doomed in the next life as a Nutria Rat. From the Human species to species Tapewormia. But how do you get from there to somewhere less...crappy? A Dung Beetle for instance. How do they get from Dung Beetle to caterpillar? Living well requires WHAT of a Dung Beetle? Eating lots of crap really well? Not stealing from other Dung Beetles' piles of dung? Not cheating on your Dung Beetle life partner? Raising your Dung Beetlets to respect their elder chief Dung Beetles?

What about a Tapeworm? It's very existence is detrimental to life. Living well as a Tapeworm involves ruining people's lives. So what is the criteria for a Tapeworm to quit being a Tapeworm? If it lives well within its purpose, it's causing harm to the world. So it's only looking out for itself. That doesn't get you promoted to TsiTsi Fly-hood. If it lives for the good of the world then it's not living well as a Tapeworm. There is NOTHING you can do as a Tapeworm to help the world. No action you perform gives you the hope of a different life later on in the circle of life, unless you detach yourself from the innerlinings of the stomach and come out without incident. So basically, whoever sucked bad enough to be reincarnated as a Tapeworm is in a manner of speaking, stuck there for eternity. It's the same theology of hell, I suppose. So you perpetually reincarnate as what you already are, only varying in the degrees of your Tapewormness, i.e. size, stature, street cred, etc. Saddam Hussein is probably someone's Tapeworm right now.

But see that frustrates me. He tormented people as a human on Earth, why does he get that pleasure AGAIN?

Or is reincarnation only inner-species? You're no longer bottom of the Dung Pile, you reincarnate as Grand Master Dung Beetle? Tapeworms become bigger and badder? Mosquitos come back resistant to DDT? I mean, how many people do you know that came from the stench of dung piles to successful businessman in one fell life cycle?

So maybe it's gradual. First Tapeworm. Then TsiTsi Fly. Then Dung Beetle. Then caterpillar. Butterfly. Some other winged soul. Maybe Salamander. Maybe Garter Snake. Anaconda. Small Mammal. Dog. Billy Goat. Pony. Secretariat. Baboon. Janitor.

That's a lot of work. A lot of effort. A lot of striving. It's a lot of fear and misguided hope, if it's even hope at all. If you believe it's up to chance, then you're only hope is to find somewhere sunny. But all of this. For what? To find joy in maybe being a Dog instead of a Cat? Of being a Flying Squirrel instead of Road Kill? Of being a millionaire instead of a janitor? It's funny what people put their faith in. What they live their lives for.

I don't mean to mock reincarnation in that some people believe it's real. But I don't get it. To live this life in fear of the next, to find that you are the pinnacle of your faith, of what you believe, of what you strive for, and that it can only go downhill from what you are now. I choose not to believe in such a fraudulent hope. Such a pointless purpose.

I choose Christ.

Because He's real.

Because He's my purpose.

Because He is Hope.


Traffic Purgatory

I drove to Miami on Tuesday. On the way down, my side of the interstate was backed up in a traffic jam. Because of a wreck on the other side of the freeway. Cuss. I HATE traffic. Turns out their side of the road was backed up for 4 MILES.


Of sitting. And waiting. TO MOVE.

Behind them, another 4 miles later, traffic is backed up AGAIN. Another wreck. For TWO MILES. In other words, once these poor chaps get out of their 2 mile long wait, they have four miles of liberty before they're gridlocked again. In a FOUR MILE LONG WAIT. Unreal. It was so bad they were closing the interstate and redirecting off the exits for detours.

I prayed a sigh of relief that I was on this side. But it was a nervous sigh. One that praised, "Thank you, God, that it's over THERE." But at the same time pleaded, "Please let it be fixed by the time I come back through here. Please?" I might have even crossed my fingers a little as if God barters in the crossed fingers business.

He doesn't.

It wasn't fixed. I waded TWO HOURS through those 10 seemingly God-forsaken miles. Two wrecks. Two hours. 10 miles. That's 5 miles an hour on average. Of sitting. Of wasting my life. Of GROWING OLD. And that's not counting the four miles of freedom between the two Pits of Hades. But for simplicity's sake, it's 5 miles an hour. My horse and wagon could've made it to RENO faster. You can WALK 5 miles an hour. You know it's pretty bad when you're asking a hitch-hiker for a lift.

Ah I HATE traffic.

Needles, spiders, and traffic. And Verizon. I'm scared of needles and spiders, thus the hatred. I've explained my feelings on Verizon at great length here. But traffic is a different hatred. It boils your blood. Stands your hair on end, turns it gray, and then causes it to fall out. Makes you create NEW cuss words because the regular ones don't make you feel any better. The only thing that seems like it would help would be to break the law.

And that's why concealed weapons are illegal.

As is having an open container in your car.

Road rage.

I don't have it. Road rage that is. Well I don't have a concealed weapon or open container either, save my cap gun and daytime bottle of Robitussin. It really is Robitussin, Officer. I promise. I have a cough. See...

But I just wonder what it is about traffic that makes me want to die. The potential to be going infinitely faster than 0 mph, is a good start. The nauseating stop-and-go. The headache-inducing, brain-cell-killing, ozone-piercing exhaust. Oh, that's enough to make you vote for Al Gore.


And doesn't it always happen that as soon as you ENTER the traffic jam, the radio chopper flies overhead to inform you that you just entered the traffic jam? "Wreck on I-95 Northbound. Steer clear of this area. Heavy congestion. Gonna be backed up till after lunch tomorrow. Maybe FEMA can bring them some food while they're stranded. I'm looking at a Grand Am that's probably sorry his momma gave birth to him right now. He's bringing up the rear of this 4 mile wait. He should've tuned in to our traffic report. Well back to you, Bubba the Love Sponge..."

I cuss you, Chopper Dave.

My Dad used to do this thing, which he still might, where he would scream curse words at the top of his lungs and pound on whatever was closest, like a steering wheel for instance. I hated that like I hate Verizon until I found myself locked in Traffic Purgatory, stuck in Limbo. It took all I had to keep from cursing at the top of my lungs, from pounding on the steering wheel, and from firing two rounds at Chopper Dave with my cap gun. This all while I'd be chugging my daytime Robitussin.

It wouldn't have been pretty.

But it sure would've felt good.